|Doug Schneider's Wednesday ELetter: JUL 17, 2002
- Morimoto Restaurant
1. SUSHI WORLD GUIDE HITS 3000
2. TELL THE IRON CHEF I ONLY EAT COOKED FISH
3. THE GRACIOUSNESS OF EUROPEANS
SUSHI WORLD GUIDE HITS 3000
My favorite sushi website is The Sushi World Guide at http://www.sushi.to.
The website creator, Michael Bentele, is a German living in Cologne,
and his intention is to document all the sushi bars in the world
outside Japan. To do this, he needs help and asks people to send
him restaurant information.
When Michael hit sushi bar number 3000 in his database, he decided
to celebrate by sending out a suggestion to the four Americans who
have contributed the greatest number of restaurants to his website.
The suggestion was that Michael would fly to the US, and we all
would meet in Philadelphia for dinner at Morimoto, the new restaurant
run by The Iron Chef of TV fame. A bunch of people who had never
met before gathered to eat sushi - that was an opportunity Randy
and I knew we could not miss.
Philadelphia, here we come: Randy and I flew in from St. Louis,
Steve O. took the train from Boston, Michael and Claudia flew in
from Germany, and Steve S. and his son drove down from Vermont.
The restaurant was dramatic (the tables change colors as you eat);
the clientele was trendy; the bartender told us we would be sitting
at the very same table where No Doubt had dined. I had no idea who
No Doubt was, but I was ready to eat.
TELL THE IRON CHEF I ONLY EAT COOKED FISH
My menu choice was the Omakase. This is Japanese for "Chef's
Choice" - based on the diner's dietary restrictions - and my
restrictions were pretty restricting: I told the waiter that I only
eat cooked (not raw, not seared) fish, and I ate no land animals
Our dinner started at 7:00 PM and ended at 11:00 PM. Here is the
Omakase that I was served:
COURSE #1: Lobster meat and lychee fruit compote with Osetra caviar.
COURSE #2: Chilled puree of endamame with flash-fried lotus root
garnish topped with a sprig of shiso leaves.
COURSE #3: Giant trans-Pacific oyster seared in hot sesame oil with
a ginger dressing.
COURSE #4: Red snapper salad garnished with cress on a bed of cucumber
PALATE CLEANSER: Wasabi-yuzufruit sorbet served with a sugared
COURSE #5: Rock shrimp tempura with a kokuchan aoili dipping sauce
(Kokuchan is a spicy red pepper popular in Korea) served with Belgian
endive leaves and an edible orchid.
COURSE #6: Black cod in a miso-mustard sauce, served with sweet
black beans and pickled red peppers.
COURSE #7: Tempura roll, which had been dipped in a light batter
and deep-fried (a tempura tempura roll?) accompanied by a pureed
basil pistou and a creamy gorgonzola sauce.